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Pentagon bans Confederate flag in way to skirt Trump's objections

Posted at 10:30 AM, Jul 17, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is banning displays of the Confederate flag on military installations, using a carefully worded policy that doesn’t mention the word ban or that specific flag.

The policy is laid out in a memo signed by DefenseSecretary Mark Esper obtained by The Associated Press.

It was described by officials as a creative way to bar the flag’s display without openly contradicting or angering President Donald Trump, who has defended people’s rights to display it.

"The flags we fly must accord with the military imperatives of good order and discipline, treating all our people with dignity and respect, and rejecting divisive symbols," the memo reads.

The memo lists the types of flags that may be displayed at military installations, such as the U.S. and state banners and the POW/MIA flag.

The Confederate flag is not on the list.

The change applies to all "public displays or depictions of the flag by Service members and civillian employees in all Department of Defense work places, common access areas, and public areas."

Other uses of flags not on the list are not prohibited, such as museum displays, educational purposes, grave sites, monuments or other such areas.